[Newbie] New, Done, and Done to Death

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Fulgore

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Apr 22, 2001, 6:54:05 PM4/22/01
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Okay, I am rather new to the community, although I am not new to
adventure games. I was thinking about making a game, and showing it off
to the collective, but then it occured to me I have maybe five years of
innocation to catch up on.

So, it would help me a lot if you could tell me about some of my planned
implemented game elements, labeling them as original, done, and done to
death.

----------

Non-Linear Cave Crawl
Weapons/Combat
Deathless Game (when you die, you teleport out of the dungeon, but
you're still alive)
Cute Critter Sidekicks
Dark Future/Noir
Humor in Cave Crawls
talk to NPC + option list as opposed to tell/ask
score based on optional puzzles/treasures
Extra score for removing treasures from dungeon (a la adventure)
Multiple Endings

--
.-'"T"'-. Fulgore
/ | \ E-mail :ful...@mindspring.com
| | | Webpage:http://www.mindspring.com/~fulgore/main.html
| .|. | ICQ :30360347
\ .' | '. / DC2 :DC2.D Gm A- L- W T Pawl Bzz Fo/j+ R+++ Ac+ Cbl
sw'-.,|,.-' J+++! Ns S+ Fr+++! U! I H++ M--- Q+++! Tc++ Skm

Emily Short

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Apr 22, 2001, 10:36:42 PM4/22/01
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In article <3AE3610D...@mindspring.com>, Fulgore
<ful...@mindspring.com> wrote:

> Non-Linear Cave Crawl

I'm not sure what you have in mind with the word 'non-linear,' but: Cave
Crawls, unless they are very very inventive indeed, are likely to be
regarded with a Sinister and Jaded Eye. Even giving the impression that
something is about to be a cave crawl is likely to make people itchy,
unless your name is Andrew Plotkin.

Other things, just FYI, on the short list of Things Of Which We Have
Already Seen Too Much:

Set at Your College
Set in Your House
Injokes only your good buddies Mike and Sparky will get
Mazes (especially if you map them by dropping things)
Inventory Management Puzzles (where you are limited to carrying X items
and you constantly need X+1 and this involves a lot of running about
dropping things)
Time Eating and Sleeping Puzzles

> Weapons/Combat

There has been combat in IF since Zork 1, and continues to appear up to
the present (see the recent Comp Game A Crimson Spring. Rumor also has it
that there was some fighting in one of the comp games.) It's fairly rare
that I find it an interesting element of the game per se, however, and
this is more and more true the more the game relies upon some kind of
elaborate semi-randomized combat system with, for instance, hit points. I
want my IF to feel more like story and less like auto-thwapping. (NB.
that this is a Personal Opinion.)

> Deathless Game (when you die, you teleport out of the dungeon, but
> you're still alive)

Dates back to Infocom; not necessarily used THAT much these days (partly
because of the lack of Dungeons out of which to be transported.)

> Cute Critter Sidekicks

Buh. My brain revolts when it hits the word 'cute' and proceedeth not further.

> Dark Future/Noir

This is, I suppose, relatively less done than some of the other ideas you
field here.

> Humor in Cave Crawls

See under "Cave Crawls," above.

> talk to NPC + option list as opposed to tell/ask

This is less a 'game element', I would argue, than one of several viable
conversation techniques. (Might I meekly offer you, in this regard, my
remarks on this at http://emshort.home.mindspring.com/NPC3.htm#interface?)

> score based on optional puzzles/treasures
> Extra score for removing treasures from dungeon (a la adventure)

'Score' in a traditional sense seems to be on the wane among the
story-oriented forms of IF; it still functions in more puzzly games like
Heroine's Mantle.

> Multiple Endings

No! Hasn't been done to death! Is in fact one of the most innovative and
intriguing techniques in IF today!!!

But, um, seriously. You might want to try some (more) recently released
games to get a sense of where IF has gone recently; and consider a wide
range of possible genres, since anything you can find in literature these
days is probably fair game (or if it isn't, it should be.)

--
http://emshort.home.mindspring.com/index.htm

Kevin Forchione

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Apr 23, 2001, 2:38:38 AM4/23/01
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"Emily Short" <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:emshort-2204...@user-2inik7a.dialup.mindspring.com...

Interestingly, this depends largely upon your audience and the views they
acquire from their peers. Cave crawls and various other elements of IF are
only passe to old-timers who've been through the lot, or fashion critics
who've decided anything that's in the archives is "legacy". In a medium as
anachronistic as IF it would be rather ironic to view anything with a jaded
eye if the material entertains. Unless we consider ourselves one of the
avante-garde, the tried-and-true formulas continue to bring in the popular
audience, and those who try to subvert the form too far are simply scorned
for their immaturity as story-tellers.

--Kevin


Magnus Olsson

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Apr 23, 2001, 3:48:29 AM4/23/01
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>So, it would help me a lot if you could tell me about some of my planned
>implemented game elements, labeling them as original, done, and done to
>death.
>
>Non-Linear Cave Crawl

Don't know about "non-linear" because it can have so many meanings.
Care to explain?

But cave crawls have been done a lot. Many people would say they've
been done to death. Personally, I don't mind cave crawls, but, well,
it's been done a lot.

>Weapons/Combat

Not original in the sense of "never been done before", but the theme
hasn't been very much explored in IF. I think the reason may be that
most people think combat doesn't really fit into IF games - the game
mechanics are so different from normal cave exploration and puzzle
solving. But if it you can integrate it in a good way, well kudos to
you!

>Deathless Game (when you die, you teleport out of the dungeon, but
>you're still alive)

Done, but certainly not to death. In fact, it's death that has been
done to death :-). But teleporting the player out of the dungeon on
"dying" - well, is there much of a difference to the game experience?
If "death" means having to restart the game, or just having to do
a 200-move cave crawl to get back to the point where you screwed up
doesn't make much difference to the player - in both cases, he/she
is most likely just to undo a move or restore from a saved game.

>Cute Critter Sidekicks

The phrase "Cute Critters" makew me go Eww - but I think IF could
definitely need more sidekicks. Too many adventures have the "you're
alone in the world" atmosphere.

>Dark Future/Noir

Done. Not as done as cave crawls, but if you look at pop culutre as a
whole (and not just IF) it's been done to death a couple of times
over. Mind you: I *like* settigns like those of Neuromancer or Blade
Runner, but there are too many bad imitations out there.

>Humor in Cave Crawls

Done to death, I'd say.

>talk to NPC + option list as opposed to tell/ask

Currently being explored, and rather an "in" thing, actually.

>score based on optional puzzles/treasures

Well, if they affect your score, they're in a sense not optional - I
think most IF players wont be content to have "won" in the sense of
achieving the main objective; they want to "win" in the sense of
achieving a max score. If you have a score. Anyway, it's been done.

>Extra score for removing treasures from dungeon (a la adventure)

Done to death, I'd say.

>Multiple Endings

Done, but, like conversation menus, an "in" thing. Some people love
multiple endings, others are less than thrilled.


*** But - and here's the bottom line - don't worry so much about this.
You can't second-guess your audience. The important thing is not if
you're original or not, the important thing is if they like what
you've written. If they do, they're forgive anything; if they don't,
they'll find faults no matter what you do. Doesn't that sound
encouraging? :-)


--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, m...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~mol ------

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Apr 23, 2001, 11:41:19 AM4/23/01
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Fulgore wrote:
>
> Okay, I am rather new to the community, although I am not new to
> adventure games. I was thinking about making a game, and showing
> it off to the collective, but then it occured to me I have maybe
> five years of innocation to catch up on.

Okay, with all good cheer in the world, I have to tell you
that I was amused by your list (below), because all but a
couple of the elements reminded me of 1982-era adventure
games. So, you have more than five years of catch up to
do.

However, my instinct is always to encourage authors to write
the game they're excited about. Sure, it's been done, but
not by you.

Note that this may diminish your potential audience; it will
not be to the taste of some (or many) people. On the other
hand, writing it will be invaluable experience for you.


> So, it would help me a lot if you could tell me about some of my
> planned implemented game elements, labeling them as original,
> done, and done to death.


Original / Current
> Dark Future/Noir
> Multiple Endings


> talk to NPC + option list as opposed to tell/ask

> Cute Critter Sidekicks

With the caveat that sidekicks are a good idea, but 'cute
critters', maybe not so much. A sidekick who is intelligent
and drily witty would perhaps be more fun to have around
than some sort of critter whose main attribute is cuteness.


Done
> Weapons/Combat


Done to Death
> Non-Linear Cave Crawl
> Humor in Cave Crawls


> score based on optional puzzles/treasures
> Extra score for removing treasures from dungeon (a la adventure)

> Deathless Game (when you die, you teleport out of the dungeon, but
> you're still alive)


Do the game you want to do, even if elements of it have been
done to death. There's no law that says authors have to write
cutting-edge IF. I personally like treasure-hunt puzzle games
and cave crawls with humor. These things have been done (to
some, to death), but not by you. So, bring your own fresh
take on them to the table, and that will be good enough.


--
J. Robinson Wheeler Games - http://raddial.com/if/
whe...@jump.net Movie - http://thekroneexperiment.com

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Apr 23, 2001, 11:54:37 AM4/23/01
to
Fulgore wrote:

> Okay, I am rather new to the community, although I am not new to
> adventure games. I was thinking about making a game, and showing
> it off to the collective, but then it occured to me I have maybe
> five years of innocation to catch up on.
>
> So, it would help me a lot if you could tell me about some of my
> planned implemented game elements, labeling them as original,
> done, and done to death.

Original / Current
> Dark Future/Noir
> Multiple Endings

> talk to NPC + option list as opposed to tell/ask

> Cute Critter Sidekicks

With the caveat that sidekicks are a good idea, but 'cute critters',
maybe not so much. A sidekick who is intelligent and drily witty
would perhaps be more fun to have around than some sort of critter
whose main attribute is cuteness.


Done
> Weapons/Combat


Done to Death
> Non-Linear Cave Crawl
> Humor in Cave Crawls

> score based on optional puzzles/treasures
> Extra score for removing treasures from dungeon (a la adventure)

> Deathless Game (when you die, you teleport out of the dungeon, but
> you're still alive)

Okay, with all good cheer in the world, I have to tell you that

I was amused by your list because all but a couple of the elements

reminded me of 1982-era adventure games. So, you have more than

five years of catching up to do.

However, my instinct is always to encourage authors to write the
game they're excited about. Sure, it's been done, but not by you.

Do the game you want to do, even if elements of it have been
done to death.

There's no law that says authors have to write cutting-edge IF.
I personally like treasure-hunt puzzle games and cave crawls with

humor. So, just bring a fresh take on them to the table, and that
will be good enough. Writing it -- and, most importantly, testing
and finishing it -- will be an invaluable experience.

Duncan Stevens

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Apr 23, 2001, 6:07:29 PM4/23/01
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"J. Robinson Wheeler" <whe...@jump.net> wrote in message
news:3AE44D21...@jump.net...

> Fulgore wrote:
>
> Do the game you want to do, even if elements of it have been
> done to death. There's no law that says authors have to write
> cutting-edge IF. I personally like treasure-hunt puzzle games
> and cave crawls with humor. These things have been done (to
> some, to death), but not by you. So, bring your own fresh
> take on them to the table, and that will be good enough.

I agree, and let me add that Andrew Plotkin (one of the best and most
respected authors currently writing, if not the best and most respected) has
won XYZZY awards (kinda like the Oscars adapted to IF) for Best Setting
twice--for a cave setting and an apartment, respectively. Admittedly, the
apartment wasn't your average apartment in some respects, but the point is
that he took elements that had been arguably done to death in IF and made
them fresh, particularly in the cave setting--what set that game apart was
both painstaking attention to detail and an original take on what it's like
to move around in a cave. So while it's true that there have been a lot of
cave crawls, it's still possible to do something new with that trope, and
your creativity will be all the more apparent if you can manage to make a
cave crawl feel original.

--Duncan


Robb Sherwin

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Apr 23, 2001, 11:48:37 PM4/23/01
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On Sun, 22 Apr 2001 22:36:42 -0400, ems...@mindspring.com (Emily
Short) wrote:
>Injokes only your good buddies Mike and Sparky will get

!!!

My current roommate, and previous roommate is/was referred to as Mike
and Sparky, respectively. But I assume this was just coincidence, as
aside from the occassional Demetrius DuBose reference, I try to keep
'the funny' somewhat approachable to all. =)


Robb
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Robb Sherwin, Fort Collins CO
Reviews From Trotting Krips: http://ifiction.tsx.org
Knight Orc Home Page: www.geocities.com/~knightorc

Emily Short

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Apr 24, 2001, 2:01:51 AM4/24/01
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In article <3ae4f629.3620865@news>, bea...@zombieworld.com (Robb Sherwin) wrote:

> On Sun, 22 Apr 2001 22:36:42 -0400, ems...@mindspring.com (Emily
> Short) wrote:
> >Injokes only your good buddies Mike and Sparky will get
>
> !!!
>
> My current roommate, and previous roommate is/was referred to as Mike
> and Sparky, respectively. But I assume this was just coincidence, as
> aside from the occassional Demetrius DuBose reference, I try to keep
> 'the funny' somewhat approachable to all. =)

I've expressed the occasional discontentment with the funny in your games,
but certainly never on those grounds. A matter of taste only.

In other news, I am of course stalking you.

What goes around comes around.

-- Emily

--
http://emshort.home.mindspring.com/index.htm

David Thornley

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Apr 24, 2001, 12:57:17 PM4/24/01
to
In article <3AE3610D...@mindspring.com>,
Fulgore <ful...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>
>So, it would help me a lot if you could tell me about some of my planned
>implemented game elements, labeling them as original, done, and done to
>death.
>
Most things have been done, including many things that shouldn't
have been done. In particular, everything you've listed below has
been done already.

The thing to remember is that this is true of every game and every
author. You're not going to make a good game by deciding to go
ahead with neat idea X, you're going to make a good game by deciding
what to do with it. Being Andrew Plotkin, in the last Competition,
was a game based on a gimmick and in-jokes, but it took advantage
of them and did it well, and was generally considered good.

Your game isn't going to be good because it's a hack-and-slash
treasure hunt, or because it's got detailed NPCs and multiple
endings, or because it's got a fully implemented rope (although
you will get some tour de force points for that). It's going to
be good because of how you do those things.

If your story organically includes a treasure hunt and maze, and
you treat them as they relate to the story, that's good.

>Cute Critter Sidekicks
>Dark Future/Noir

These two, however, I'd rather not see. Not unless you do it really
well. The first is something of a general preference, the second
more personal.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
da...@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-

Robotboy8

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Apr 24, 2001, 5:21:22 PM4/24/01
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First off, "cute critter sidekick" just sounds stupid. How about using a
sidekick as a clever front-end for an online hint system?

And a little question:
how do you implement a cave crawl in a future noir game?

Adam J. Thornton

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Apr 24, 2001, 6:54:47 PM4/24/01
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In article <emshort-2404...@user-2inik31.dialup.mindspring.com>,

Emily Short <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>In article <3ae4f629.3620865@news>, bea...@zombieworld.com (Robb Sherwin) wrote:
>
>> !!!

>In other news, I am of course stalking you.
>What goes around comes around.

Hey! Who's going to stalk *me*?

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell." -- Tom Waits

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Apr 24, 2001, 7:34:25 PM4/24/01
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On 24 Apr 2001 21:21:22 GMT, robo...@aol.com (Robotboy8) wrote:

>And a little question:
>how do you implement a cave crawl in a future noir game?

"I finally got a lead on where Stillman was hiding out, and I didn't
like it. Ordinarily, entering the ruins of Manhattan would be suicide
- not even a top-of-the-line radiation suit could keep you alive and
healthy for more than an hour or two. But there had always been
rumors about subway tunnels deep enough to be shielded from the blast,
now populated by the mutated descendants of those left for dead. If
Stillman had found an entrance, he'd found a place where no one would
follow him... except me."

Kevin Forchione

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Apr 24, 2001, 7:32:08 PM4/24/01
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"Adam J. Thornton" <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote in message
news:9c507n$qb5$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU...

> In article <emshort-2404...@user-2inik31.dialup.mindspring.com>,
> Emily Short <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> >In article <3ae4f629.3620865@news>, bea...@zombieworld.com (Robb Sherwin)
wrote:
> >
> >> !!!
> >In other news, I am of course stalking you.
> >What goes around comes around.
>
> Hey! Who's going to stalk *me*?

Probably the Cheerios Avenger. But being stalked by Emily... I mean she's
into simulation big time...

--Kevin


Adam Cadre

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Apr 24, 2001, 9:13:10 PM4/24/01
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Carl Muckenhoupt wrote:
> Ordinarily, entering the ruins of Manhattan would be suicide - not even
> a top-of-the-line radiation suit could keep you alive and healthy for
> more than an hour or two.

Yes, yes, I suppose a modern-day slice-of-life approach would also work
fine. Well done. But I believe the question had to do with the future...?

-----
Adam Cadre, Brooklyn, NY
web site: http://adamcadre.ac
novel: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060195584/adamcadreac

Joe Mason

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Apr 24, 2001, 9:14:24 PM4/24/01
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In article <20010424172122...@ng-mf1.aol.com>,

Ah, how limited your imagination is.

http://www.atlasmagazine.com/photo/sacha6/
http://www.infiltration.org/subway.htm
http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/pdf/path_brochure.pdf

(That last one gives me a real tingly feeling. I bet the other side of it is
labelled 'All Other Possessions I Hearby Bequeath...')

Joe

Magnus Olsson

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Apr 25, 2001, 6:52:57 AM4/25/01
to
In article <3ae609dc....@News.CIS.DFN.DE>,

Carl Muckenhoupt <ca...@wurb.com> wrote:
>On 24 Apr 2001 21:21:22 GMT, robo...@aol.com (Robotboy8) wrote:
>
>>And a little question:
>>how do you implement a cave crawl in a future noir game?
>
>"I finally got a lead on where Stillman was hiding out, and I didn't
>like it. Ordinarily, entering the ruins of Manhattan would be suicide
>- not even a top-of-the-line radiation suit could keep you alive and
>healthy for more than an hour or two. But there had always been
>rumors about subway tunnels deep enough to be shielded from the blast,
>now populated by the mutated descendants of those left for dead.

Hmm. Makes me wonder a little about those "cute critter sidekicks" :-).

John Colagioia

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Apr 25, 2001, 9:57:02 AM4/25/01
to
"Adam J. Thornton" wrote:

> In article <emshort-2404...@user-2inik31.dialup.mindspring.com>,
> Emily Short <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> >In article <3ae4f629.3620865@news>, bea...@zombieworld.com (Robb Sherwin) wrote:
> >
> >> !!!
> >In other news, I am of course stalking you.
> >What goes around comes around.
>
> Hey! Who's going to stalk *me*?

I would, but I'm usually busy being a part-time arch-enemy to some
local
underprivileged children...

I've left out a bowl of Cheerios, though. For you-know-who.

Dennis G. Jerz

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Apr 25, 2001, 2:56:13 PM4/25/01
to
"Adam J. Thornton" <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote in message
news:9c507n$qb5$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU...
> In article <emshort-2404...@user-2inik31.dialup.mindspring.com>,
> Emily Short <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> >In article <3ae4f629.3620865@news>, bea...@zombieworld.com (Robb Sherwin)
wrote:
> >
> >> !!!
> >In other news, I am of course stalking you.
> >What goes around comes around.
>
> Hey! Who's going to stalk *me*?
>

Adam, I tracked down your stalker and killed him.

--
Dennis G. Jerz, Ph.D.; (715)836-2431
Dept. of English; U Wisc.-Eau Claire
419 Hibbard, Eau Claire, WI 54702
------------------------------------
Literacy Weblog: www.uwec.edu/jerzdg


J.D. Berry

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Apr 25, 2001, 3:30:35 PM4/25/01
to
>== Original Message From "Dennis G. Jerz" <Jer...@uwec.edu> ==

>"Adam J. Thornton" <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote in message
>> Hey! Who's going to stalk *me*?
>
>Adam, I tracked down your stalker and killed him.
>

That explains the candlestick in the conservatory, Professor
"Jerz."

Adam J. Thornton

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Apr 25, 2001, 4:26:18 PM4/25/01
to
In article <9c76ke$u36$1...@wiscnews.wiscnet.net>,

Dennis G. Jerz <Jer...@uwec.edu> wrote:
>> Hey! Who's going to stalk *me*?
>Adam, I tracked down your stalker and killed him.

I can only hope that as you did you shrieked:

"FUCK YOU! You're in my Kill File! Next!"

Jaz

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Apr 27, 2001, 12:16:58 PM4/27/01
to

Adam J. Thornton wrote in message <9c507n$qb5$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>...

>In article <emshort-2404...@user-2inik31.dialup.mindspring.com>,
>Emily Short <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>>In article <3ae4f629.3620865@news>, bea...@zombieworld.com (Robb Sherwin)
wrote:
>>
>>> !!!
>>In other news, I am of course stalking you.
>>What goes around comes around.
>
>Hey! Who's going to stalk *me*?
>
>Adam


I've got a split personality... I stalk myself...

Jaz - CAT is the best IF writer around...


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